History and Mission
Founded in 2012, the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration at Columbia Law School was established with the intention to serve as:
- A think tank for advanced theory and practice, including the fashioning of “soft law” of both commercial and investment arbitration;
- A center that integrates the law and practice of international arbitration with related participants and stakeholders in the field, including those who assist and support international arbitration (e.g., risk analysts, economists, political and cultural specialists, translators and interpreters, corporate intelligence professionals, and forensic accounting experts);
- A body dedicated to developing and implementing methods for gathering, analyzing, and reporting empirical data on international arbitration;
- A site for conducting important international arbitration projects for use, privately or publicly, in practice or in academia, notably those that address international arbitration’s current challenges;
- An enterprise with a special focus on youth -- educating and training students and young professionals interested in international arbitration;
- A partner of the new New York Center on International arbitration and the new International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) office in New York;
- An institute forging close working bonds with like-minded institutions throughout the world.
The Center is founded on five decades of leadership by Columbia Law School in international arbitration. It draws on the Law School’s wealth of experience and scholarship -- the Law School’s faculty, research, facilities, the American Review of International Arbitration (ARIA), the “Columbia Arbitration Day,” and the largest law student organization in the country devoted to the subject. The Center’s director, George A. Bermann, is one of the Law School’s most distinguished professors, and one of the world’s most respected authorities in this field.
In addition, the Center has alliances or working relationships and collaborative projects with leading academic institutions in other parts of world, including London and Paris. It has similar relationships with arbitration institutes in New York and elsewhere, with top tier law firms in international arbitration, and with various governmental bodies.
Today there is unprecedented interest in international arbitration, with little doubt that the interest and international arbitration’s importance will continue to grow. CICIA plans to make its own distinct contribution to the field, and to the development of more effective methods of resolving international disputes and encouraging international commerce and exchange.